Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers
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Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers
How do we get middle school students to participate in their education.
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Robin Talkowski’s Blog: Reading & Technology — A STAR of the Discovery Educator Network with a focus on reading instruction and technology

Robin Talkowski’s Blog: Reading & Technology — A STAR of the Discovery Educator Network with a focus on reading instruction and technology | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

I just discovered Robin Talkowski's blog and love some of the resourses that she has identified for middle school.  I scooped Mr. Nussbaum's games from her blog.  In this post she talks about Nancy Atwell's Naming the World, a book for teaching poetry.  I love that book.  This post also discusses Class Dojo, an online system that allows teachers to give immediate feedback on behavior. 

 

Anyone who teaches knows that struggling students often misbehave.  I feel overwhelmed by trying to keep track of who did what during class.  While this system sounds like it allows a teacher to keep good records, the primary purpose is to provide positive feedback to parents and students on behavior. 

 

One question that I have is whether this interferes with a student developing extrinsic controls when they are receiving external rewards.

 

However, I want to remember to look into this.  Hence, this posting.

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Mindset and Mind Power

Mindset and Mind Power | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

Another Robin Talkowski post.  In this one, she discusses the book Mindset and notes, "While adolescent struggling readers may indeed have skill deficits that require remediation and practice, a major stumbling block to their improvement is their negative mindset about their abilities and reading in general."  Ain't that the truth?

 

Another summer reading book.

 

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Beyond Student Engagement: Achieving a State of Flow

Beyond Student Engagement: Achieving a State of Flow | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it
A former teacher and instructional coach, Elena Aguilar is now a transformational leadership coach in the Oakland Unified School District.

   

This blog, on edutopia, gives some additional information about flow.  Three conditions must be present for flow to occus: (1) a clear goal, (2) an attainable, but challenging goal, (3) clear and immediate feedback so that it is possible to make mid-stream corrections.

 

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Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents

Building Reading Confidence in Adolescents | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

"The authors present a research-based approach for building reading self-efficacy and focus on four concepts necessary to learners' literacy success: confidence, independence, metacognition, and stamina." 

 

Another summer reading book.  This book is on-topic for me:  how do I get my students to believe that they can be successful readers?  Jeff Wilhelm has endorsed the book and so that gives me some confidence in it.

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Research into Practice: Motivation, Self-Efficacy, and the Engaged Reader - Middle School Journal

Research into Practice: Motivation, Self-Efficacy, and the Engaged Reader - Middle School Journal | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

"In this article, we define reading motivation; discuss the decrease in motivation in the middle grades; explain the role self-efficacy plays in the learning process; and then show how using a variety of interesting comprehension strategies can help."

 

I'm a member of the Association of Middle Level Education.  This article discusses how student engagement in reading starts dropping in middle school and discusses ways to stop the drop.

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GUYS READ

GUYS READ | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

On average, there are more boys who struggle with reading than girls.  This is a website created by a children's author, with contributions by other authors, to identify reading materials that may engage boys.  There are several compliation books that have been published as well.  I use these in my classroom.

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Bitstrips: Create your own comic strips starring YOU and your friends!

Bitstrips:  Create your own comic strips starring YOU and your friends! | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

"Bitstrips is an engaging media tool that can help accommodate different learning styles and motivate kids to think, create and express story-writing skills. "

 

Another tool to help grab student attention.


Via Andrea E. Sullivan
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The Middle School Mouth: Inside my Social Studies Interactive ...

The Middle School Mouth: Inside my Social Studies Interactive ... | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

The Middle School Mouth blog is by a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher.  The post that I have selected is one with information about interactive notebooks.  The idea of having students create in their notebooks instead of just write seems like a wonderful thing for active middle schoolers.  I want my reading students next year to keep a classroom notebook which will include reading strategies.  This has me thinking about paper plates and foldables for those strategies.  I know that they are more likely to remember something if they have a picture in their minds of what the strategy looks like.

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MrNussbaum's Language Arts Games

MrNussbaum's Language Arts Games | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

If students are having fun, the odds of them learning something increase.  Mr. Nussbaum has some games that cover some of the skills that students tend to see as meaningless and annoying: punctuation and spelling, for example.  Playing these games, which require students to learn conventions, may build some longer-term motivation.  They won't be learning semi-colon rules for the worksheet; they will be learning it so they can lead the semi-colon warriors to victory.  So maybe they will remember the rules for longer than the time it takes to complete the worksheet.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Motivating People to Learn

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Motivating People to Learn | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., psychologist and author of the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, describes what schools and parents can do to promote optimal learning experiences. "

 

The experience of flow is powerful, a natural high.  Many students have experienced flow while playing video games or perhaps in sports.  Our struggling students may never have experienced flow as readers.  If we can design ways for them to experience flow, then their motivation to try again to have that learning rush may transform their lives.

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Self-Efficacy

Self-Efficacy | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

Self efficacy is commonly defined as the belief in one's capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome. Students with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to challenge themselves with difficult tasks and ...

 

Suggestions on ways to build self-efficacy in students. 

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Building%20Successful%20Readers.pdf

An article in Reading Teacher which idetifies the need for instruction in social and emotional development in order to build successful readers.  More and more students are arriving to school without the social and emotional skills to be able to learn.  We can't change the environment in which they live, but we can try to give them skills for living in their circumstances.  Then maybe they can devote some energy to learning.

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Motivation | Adolescent Literacy 101 | AdLit.org

Whether students are merely bored or truly struggle with literacy, the advice is more or less the same: give them freedom to read and write about topics of their own choosing, help them find interesting and suitable reading materials, give them...
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Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds

Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

"Wordle is a TOY for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes."

 

Wordle can help students to see the beauty of literature and I'm thinking that it can help students to see how their writing could be more beautiful.  If they feed in an essay and the words that are prominently displayed in Wordle are is, are, was, they, them, then maybe they can see how to do some revising. 

 

Wordle could also be used to help students identify the words that they need to know.  If they can feed in a reading on the solor system, then Wordle may help them to figure out the important words. 

 

One more example:  if you feed in a section of a textbook, isn't it likely that the highlighted vocabulary will be used extensively and maybe that can convince students that they should play particularly attention to those words?

 

I know that my students are fascinated to watch something being created so this is sure to create on-task, and perhaps even engaged,  conversations.


Via Andrea E. Sullivan
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Donna Brown's comment, May 23, 2012 5:06 PM
Love this idea! Thanks!
Lisa M. Snyder's comment, June 8, 2012 10:42 PM
You can embed these into websites, on your facebook page, etc. They are very fun and the students love making them!
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Simple Practices to Nurture the Motivation to Read | Adolescent Literacy Topics A-Z | AdLit.org

Honoring books for self-selection, sharing the excitement of read-alouds, building a balanced book collection, making your passions public, and providing rewards that that demonstrate the value of reading are just a few simple but transformative...

Adlit is an organization established by WETA, the public television station in Washington, D.C.  Adlit is short for adolescent literacy.  This article describes some ways to increase student motivation to read, including allowing students to select their own reading materials. 

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Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud: WHAT'S YOUR PLAN FOR ENGAGEMENT?

Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud: WHAT'S YOUR PLAN FOR ENGAGEMENT? | Building Engagement and Motivation in Struggling Readers | Scoop.it

Barkley's post concerns the issues of engagement and discusses the difference between on-task behavior versus engaged behavior, something that can not be directly measured.  He cites the book Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap by Boykin and Nogeura. 

 

They identify three kinds of engagement: behavior, cognitive, and affective.  Low achieving students tend to lack engagement.  Being on-task is not enough.  We have to find ways to build engagement in those students.

 

This book is on my summer reading list.

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